You have every right to charge for any engineering or re-engineering ideas period.
In our own situation, if a operator does not have the knowledge to fix a machine, then he should take it to someone who has the capability. And, yes, "pay" for their services!
In this industry, if a fellow doesn't have, or can not spend $3000 - 5,000 on a new machine, then he/she should think about selling ice cream cones instead. Back in 1972, I went to the bank, got a loan for $5,000.00 and never looked back! Made that very fast because I had confidence in what I was doing!!!
Many do not today and thus, should be doing something else.
The JAGUAR MX-2 ETM @ cross-american.com